Okay I just finished Eragon, the first volume of the Inheritance Cycle (I have the other two, Eldest and Brisingr but getting to those will be a while).
I can see why this book has NO FANFICTION in the Books category at FF.Net and 77 Sue fics in the Movie category. That alone should be a BIG ASS red flag as to what epic fail the book and movie was. Now the reviews on Amazon are a mixed bag with 11-year-old (mostly) boys absolutely worshiping Paolini and adults and older teens (mostly) panning Paolini. Panning is rather civil of them, but I think that Amazon reviewers want to avoid typical cursing/slamming wars that are commonplace on IMDB message boards (which is why I no longer visit the site).
You know what I think Paolini is? I think he’s a fucking plagiarist.
Now I know many have said this and it’s clear that professional book reviewers believe this as well, but they’re working for big media conglomerates that publish books and broadcast American Asshole and they honestly don’t want to lob mortars at the sleeping dragon (pun intended) because guess who’s paying them. I will not go into the synopsis, you all should know what it’s about considering it’s been out nearly seven years. If the whole shebang wasn’t Star Wars set in Lord of The Rings, I might’ve willingly overlooked the clichés, but I swear there was dialog that I’m near positive that was ripped from movies.
This whole 497 page hot mess isn’t a testimony to Paolini’s determination to bring quality writing back, in fact I think that books like Eragon make more problems for contemporary literature (Twifuck, need I say more). If you want a real detailed review I suggest you hit up MagusX1 and blowshimselfupdude, what I really wanted to rant about was Paolini himself, and his writing style.
Now in my previous rants about print on demand (vanity press, subsidy publishing, self publishing) I did mention Christopher Paolini, and when Eragon legitimately hit shelves via Knopf in ’03 the criminal enterprise POD got a big sales boost when they used Paolini as their poster boy considering he was now a NYT bestseller and then 20th Century Fox signed it up for a film treatment. I can only image how many suckers went into debt but are still delusional about their “success” and “fame” (have you ever read the message boards at Lulu.com?).
OT: There was this one guy on a POD site that was giving “advice” to other wannabes on selling their books to major chain book stores. Spend money you don’t have on printing several hundred business cards, walk in and introduce yourself to the cashiers, security, and customer service, handing each of them a business card advertising your book working your way up to management where he was certain your book would be considered for purchase. I’m dead fucking serious.
I think the major selling point to these books is Paolini himself. Knopf wants to set Paolini up as the Doogie Howser of YA fantasy. People would be charmed by the notion of a home schooled 10-year-old child prodigy who is unhappy with adult fantasy. I started reading my parents ADULT novels at 11 or 12. I read Mom’s (idiotic) Danielle Steele books, Sydney Sheldon, a few of Dad’s Destroyer series, a James Bond novel, Interview With the Vampire (first paperback edition I think ’77), and Mom’s first edition of Helter Skelter. And the people I hang with were (nearly) all like that. We were the more “intellectual” kids/teens, but what we weren’t were fresh-faced nor cute. We are jaded, wised-up, and sarcastic. The majority of anti-Twifuck and Eragon haters are usually from that class. We were the above-average GPA kid that didn’t see life as an S Club 7 episode.
So Paolini decides to write this 4-volume epic at age 14, but didn’t get past the first few pages because he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. So he did a “fuckload of research” (I could see that in the crazed Eragonian lingo, but then again Elvish was based off runic languages that still exists in modern Icelandic and Swedish), plotted it out for a year, went hiking around his Montana house to get “inspiration” for mapping out Alagaesia (Middle-earth), then banged out a first draft at 15, took a year to “edit” it, and by the time he was 17 his parents read the “final” draft.
Adding more fuel to this shit fire is Mr. and Mrs. Paolini. They are arrogant bastards. They have every right to hate the public education system, and while I don’t know if they were too cheap or just didn’t have the money to send li’l Chris to a private school, they were so patting themselves on their backs after seeing the book that they immediately spent their cash on a POD and quit their jobs to take their teenage son on a self-promoting book tour (something that legit houses don’t really do anymore- no money in it for them).
So in order to sell his wares Chris dons a Renaissance costume (think Bride of Leavenworth) and does readings at Mom n’ Pop book stores. He admitted that a really good day would be 40 copies sold after 8 hours of non-stop yapping. Then in ’02 in walks the Hollywood happy ending, the stepson of author Carl Hiaasen, the author behind the epic retard fail Hoot. Evidently this guy had an brain as big as Paolini’s (or at the very least doesn’t know who George Lucas is), showed Carl (the third stooge) who then went to Knopf and they gave the kid a contract right then and there. Allegedly there was some “re-editing”, but the sources at Absolute Write Water Cooler have reported that publishers have scaled back their editing departments to the point that a final draft and a print copy are nearly identical.
So in conclusion, stick to Dragonlance if you want some genuine epic dragon fantasy (Nightwish loves these books), Avi for some intellect and off-the-cuff humor (his cousin is Alan Arkin who provided the voice for Schmendrick in The Last Unicorn), and give a chance to some of the lesser known authors such as E. Rose Sabin (I know! I know! Harry Potter copycat, but she’s actually pretty good).